I've had my leica m6 since 2007 and never experienced any problems with light leaks on my 35mm scans.

Recently, I shot 5 rolls of Fuji 400H. 2 of the rolls came back with some very subtle light leaks. At first glance I thought it may have been a scanning problem or chemical residue. However, upon reviewing the film, I was clearly able to see the same leaks/haze on the left hand side of the film, running top to bottom. I'm wondering if A) is this caused by my camera or B) store developing process. I've attached sample images for reference.

Leaks/haze? found on the left hand side running from top to bottom. Shot at F8.

Leaks/haze? found on the left hand side running from top to bottom. Shot at F2.8

Leaks/haze? found on the left hand side running from top to bottom. Shot at F8

Would be very happy to know your thoughts.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you mean for the 1st and 3rd images to be the same photo? (the 1st looks like it was pushed slightly more in development, but otherwise the exact same scene, birds in flight, wave positions, etc.) \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Oct 24, 2018 at 4:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, thanks for pointing that out. I meant to upload a different photo for the 3rd illustrating this problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oskar
    Oct 24, 2018 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


These images were made using a negative color film. The left edge of these images show plus density on the positive images you posted. That translates to the fact that the corresponding areas of the negatives have negative density. In other words the defect as seen on the negatives are will show a lessening of density. Thus this cannot be a light leak because light leaks or otherwise fogging light produced plus density.

That being the case, likely this defect is caused by the shutter. I think the focal plane shutter, instead of smoothly traveling across the film mask is varying in speed.
Likely the shutter mechanism is in need of a tune-up.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Easier said: If light would leak in, the area would be brighter. Here it's darker, so it's not a light leak. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aganju
    Oct 24, 2018 at 16:46
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @! Aganju -- Easier said but why not seize the moment and teach? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2018 at 17:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure. it was not meant as a critique, and I appreciated the details. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aganju
    Oct 24, 2018 at 18:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi Alan, thank you for your answer and for enlightening me. I believe you're correct. It must be a a slightly faulty shutter mechanism as the areas look slightly underexposed and are consistent with the way the focal plane shutter moves. They do not show up on pictures that I overexposed, I only notice them on those that are underexposed. Guess it's time for a tune up. Thanks again, Oskar \$\endgroup\$
    – Oskar
    Oct 24, 2018 at 18:07

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